I love Q (and I’m not talking about the mischievous, evasive, omnipotent and aptly named character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, although I loved John de Lancie in that role.) No, I’m talking about heavenly hog, and in particular eastern N.C. vinegar-based BBQ. Hey, nothing against Memphis style or western-Carolina pig (it is pork, for goodness sake!) but eastern style reigns supreme in my book.
I went to my first pig pick’n when I was in high school, and have been hooked ever since. That’s where the best Q is – either cooked in a friend’s backyard or at one of the several community-based events that take place around the Triangle, typically in the fall. Like each October at Lynn Crossroads Ruritan Club – the line usually wraps around the building, but is always worth the wait! Oh my goodness – the smell alone keeps you in queue. But since I cannot always conjure up a pig pick’n, luckily there are a number of worthy restaurants nearby that serve up the holy grub.
While I was at ECU, Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson was a must! We would save our pennies and then load up someone’s car, since it took a while to get from Greenville to Wilson, to literally pig out on some of the best Q I’ve ever had. If you go to ECU and don’t visit Parker’s – shame on you! After I left Greenville and moved to Garner, Holt Lake Bar-b-que and Seafood on 301S in Smithfield was top Q restaurant on my list. Again, we would take a crowd and order family-style. Not only was the Q divine, the fried chicken and Brunswick stew were blissful. I saw recently that they reopened after catching fire last year. Certainly good news for HL’s loyal customers!
Closer to home, The Pit in downtown Raleigh is making quite a name for itself, and for good reason., especially since pit master Ed Mitchell defeated Bobby Flay (one of my favs) in an episode of Throwdown. They were battling with ribs, which I have not tried, but if they are as great as the Q, I will have to order both next time. Another tried and true downtown Q institution is Clyde Coopers. Yum! And when I’m in Durham, Bullocks is my destination for Q. Chopped, of course, although the sliced is good. They have some of the best hush puppies I have ever eaten. And if you go on a Friday, they have homemade chicken pastry to die for. It was definitely my favorite lunch destination when I worked at Duke.
OK, I think I know what I’ll be having for lunch tomorrow.
What are your favs?